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Westfields Marriott Opens Palm Court for Dinner

Featuring dishes such as Braised Merlot Lamb Shanks, Peppercorn Seared Ahi Tuni and Pistachio-Crusted Chicken, The Palm Court restaurant in the Westfields Marriott is now open for dinner.

This upscale, American-style restaurant began serving dinner, Sept. 10, offering classic and regional cuisine in an atmosphere of sheer elegance. The Palm Court served breakfast, brunch and lunch, but hadn't offered dinner for nearly a year.

The Sept. 11 tragedy adversely affected the hotel industry throughout the U.S., but things have changed now for the better. And the Westfields Marriott is meeting its clientele's needs.

"Now that business is starting to come back, there's been an overwhelming demand to bring back dinner, so now is the perfect opportunity to do that," said Brian Hilger, Westfields' director of operations. "People wanted a nice place to go, with complementary valet parking, without driving into the city."

As a result, The Palm Court completely revamped its menu, under the capable hands of Chef Michael Sullivan, who's been with the Westfields Marriott for three years. He has 20 years experience overall in a variety of Marriott properties nationwide, including Anaheim, Denver and Seattle, plus the Santa Barbara Biltmore Hotel.

"The Palm Court will offer a true, fine-dining experience in the heart of Chantilly at a hotel that has a nationwide reputation as a leading conference-resort destination," said Sullivan. "Our clientele will truly be impressed by what we have to offer."

The Westfields Marriott is at 14750 Conference Center Drive, off Stonecroft Boulevard; call 703-818-0300. Dinner is served, Monday-Saturday, 6-10 p.m. Entrees at the 75-seat restaurant will range from $18-$30, and the menu will have a "Chophouse" theme.

"It's food found at a traditional steakhouse, but with more variety and flair and lower prices," said Westfields spokesman Al Rickard. "There's not a restaurant like this in Chantilly."

In August, The Palm Court held a special "tasting" to determine which entrees — and with which presentations and combinations of side dishes and garnishes — would make the new menu. And each dish was as beautiful as it was delicious.

Entrees included Grilled Fillet of Angus Beef with a Cabernet demi-glace, balsamic roasted onions and garlic-parmesan, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes; Flat-iron Seared New York Steak with gratin potatoes and shallot herb butter; Seared Buffalo Fillet with sautéed baby spinach, grilled shitake mushrooms and an avocado and yellow-tomato garnish; and Braised Merlot Lamb Shank with polenta mashed potatoes.

Also served were Marinated Lamb Chops with a mustard-and-herb crust, rosemary-and-garlic demi-glace and a Yukon Gold potato-and-apple gratin; Peppercorn Seared Tuna on a lemon-scented, jasmine-rice salad with tempura-fried baby green beans and a Japanese citrus soy sauce; and Parpadelle Pasta made with fresh sea scallops, prawns and lobster, poached in cream, with shallots, garlic and Sauvignon Blanc wine.

In addition to dishes such as these, The Palm Court also features a signature lobster bisque, an appetizer of littleneck clams with a garlic-and-leek Beurre Blanc sauce and grilled crostini, and desserts including Bananas Foster and Cappuccino Creme Brulee.

Stu Damon, general manager of the Westfields Marriott, was among those at the tasting, and he thoroughly enjoyed each gourmet treat. Delighted to once again offer dinner, he said The Palm Court is suitable for many occasions: "[It's] the type of restaurant where business executives can host a 'power dinner' for their best clients, or they can come and relax with friends and family."